“We should be well-aware that we have, in great part, given rise to the Islamic State and we have, ever since, been trapped in a vicious circle.” (Dominique de Villepin, former French prime minister, September 2014)
A- Global terror threat:
Beirut, Tunisia, Paris, Bamako and the list goes on. Terrorism knows no frontiers and it took advantage from globalization where both space and time have both faded away. Olivier Roy said
“A heinous and despicable attack,” that was how it was rightly described. Everybody expressed sympathy when the French capital of Lumière, culture and civilization was hit by several barbarian terrorist attacks, killing 129 innocent people and leaving more than 350 others wounded. A heavy human toll.
The act was condemned by political leaders, human rights organizations and prominent civil society groups. Normal citizens were stunned and outraged. Barrack Obama considered it not only “an attack on the people of France but on all humanity and the universal values.” That’s very true.
But that’s not the whole truth. Before that thousands of innocent people in Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya had been hit by terrorism. But there were lukewarm reactions. Or not at all.
The last in case was Lebanon. Just one day before Paris, two ISIS terrorists exploded themselves in a Shia suburb, near Beirut. It resulted in a high toll of 44 dead people and some 200 injured ones. Here, no major response was noticed. It is not “an attack on humanity?”
If we want to paraphrase, George Orwell in his animal farm, we might say that “all humans are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
The real question is: who benefits from such “double standard” reaction? Extremist groups who want to prove that western values are nothing but “hypocrisy”, as said Dhawahri in his video. For, like it or not, these people are not just fanatics whose real “hobby” is to kill, they are able to build coherent speeches, develop sound arguments and communicate.
B- Islamists versus Muslim migrants:
Whenever there is a terrorist attack in Europe, an accusing finger is pointed to Muslim communities. That’s why they feel concerned or even worse “guilty until proven innocent” and are the first to denounce the act as if to reject the accusation. Here again, terrorists score extra points: “secularist western countries have no place for Muslims, ”they say. An argument shared by the rising extreme right in Europe. Slowly, we get nearer the jaws of the extremism trap.
For we must be careful: making a community live in fear and suspicion may lead to serious consequences. In addition to marginalization, it may lead to revolt and revenge. And there is no shortage of examples.
C- The war on terror: The Bush’s way
If terrorism is a scourge that should be faced to protect civilizations, human values and innocent people, the most important question is: how?
When terrorists attack Paris, London, Madrid or Tunis, they have one aim in mind: drag the countries into a war, a war with an invisible and elusive enemy. A war that they think will, in the long run, dismantle the principles of democracy, of coexistence, of peace. A war where there are, as Ben Laden said, “two tents in the world, that of Islam and that of Kuffar(non-believers).”
The American administration got caught into the trap. It declared the war on terror everywhere in the world. Remember the answer of Bush. It divided the world into two camps “those who are with us and those who are with terrorism.” Same “false mirror.”
The result? Decades of an absurd war, generating more extremism and more terror. The Islamic State would not have existed, had not been the invasion of Iraq, that was meant “to get rid of a dictator and build a pioneering democracy in the Arab world”, as Taliban would not have developed and grown without the invasion of Afghanistan. If western governments don’t learn lessons from those examples, terrorists will get what they planned for.
D- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (M. L. King)
But Daech is not only the product of wrong quixotic wars on terror. Injustices bring about humiliation; and humiliation is the breeding ground for extremism: from decades of colonialism ,to the tacit and overt protection of dictators, to the unconditional support to Israel, the terrorist do not get short of “convincing rhetoric, ”when accusing western powers.
The key point here is: as long as the international law is not applied on every country in the same equal way, as long as injustices remain in the Middle East, neither security measures nor sophisticated arms would be enough to stop terrorism. It is like a quicksand, if we don’t know how to avoid it, it will end up by sucking all our human values in.
The Committee for the Respect of Liberties and Human Rights in Tunisia